Ep 21- What is Employee Motivation with Susan Fowler

Employee Motivation, Employee Engagement, Motivation

Episode 21 – The Science of Employee Motivation with Susan Fowler (@fowlersusann)

In October of last year while flying home from the HR Technology Conference, I had the luck to be sitting next to workplace motivation expert, Susan Fowler. I recognized her name after looking over her shoulder and saw she was writing an article on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The article she was writing turned out to be for the Harvard Business Review and for much of the plane ride we discussed workplace motivation and engagement topics. It was a treat.

What is Motivation?

Susan just released a book called Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work and What Doesand on today’s Workology podcast episode we discuss the science behind employee motivation. What is motivation and why can’t we just motivate someone to simply do their work at work? Susan shares with how employees and individuals have to be motivated themselves. She breaks it all down for us and talks about the secret to getting your employees motivated and how to ensure success. We discuss how managers and business leaders can better engage their employees. She discusses the difference between employee engagement, satisfaction and motivation. These three while related mean completely different things.

Susan’s website has some great resources and information for managers and leaders who are looking to improve employee productivity and get their employees more motivated at the workplace. I’m a fan of her motivational assessment to untap the motivation for my daughter to pick up her room. She shares some great insights into how personal motivation is tied to professional and what leaders can do to make sure employees bring their best self to work everyday. You can also connect with Susan via LinkedIn.



*A Special thank you to my podcast production team at Total Picture Radio.


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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. David Taylor says

    Thanks for the post. I’ve checked out Susan’s work and it is a great help fro me with my customers, especially what does and doesn’t work with employees. Motivation comes from within – you cant ‘give’ it to someone. You can only create the right conditions for them to feel and act in a motivated way.



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